Too many elderly parents assume adult children will become responsible for them no matter what their child's life is at. They do not consider the impact it will have on their children's lives. Adult children are not built in safety nets for the elderly parent. Elderly parents must take some responsibility toward their care as they age and not assume their children will do it all for them. In today's economy it is selfish and unrealistic for the elderly to meet their expectations by their children. Have some compassion for your adult children and help yourselves first and in return your children will not hesitate to help you.
a few of the roles I've both seen and played myself.
It's grotesquely unfair. Many have subjected their children to abuse or abandonment in childhood and then wish to plunder the rest of their chidren's productive adult lives. I wonder how many of the "spending my children's
inheritance" crowd will demand free housing and care when they've blown
through their savings and need help down the road.
All I can say is that aging is verrrrrrry expensive. Taking care of oneself financially, emotionally and health wise becomes an obligation if we do
not wish to be a burden on our adult children in our later years. So many
seniors enjoy expensive travel, lavishly maintain their home(s), spend a
small fortune on restaurants and expensive clothing and cars, and then
essentially rob their adult children and grandchildren from even a weekend
getaway or small experiences of respite, let alone life changing adventure.
I've heard so many stories of elder abuse, that I never dreamed there was
even such a thing as caregiver abuse. My own experiences and reading
some of the stories on here has definitely changed that view.
I asked you some questions several weeks ago, but you never replied. Can you answer some of the questions?
It sounds like she is not cooperative, but you do have options. One would be to call 911 the next time your mom threatens to kill herself. The police can do a Baker Act and have her taken to a mental health facility to be evaluated.
You can also contact APS and let them know that your mom is unable to live alone and that you are no longer able to care for her. They will potentially look for any other relatives who might be willing to oversee her care or the state might assume the responsibility. Either way, you would not be liable.
Another alternative would be to seek guardianship if your mom is determined to be mentally incompetent, which would allow you to find facility placement. However, this would also mean the responsibility of overseeing her health care decisions and finances, as well as providing regular reporting to the guardianship court. If your mom is toxic and abusive though, consider carefully whether you would want that responsibility. I am my mom's guardian but often wish I hadn't taken it on because she has not been easy to deal with either, nor has the drama from other family members.
Definitely not an easy decision, but it sounds like your mom is a danger to herself and that living with her is taking a toll on you as well.
Would she be willing to talk to a geriatric specialist? It really does sound like she should be evaluated for both neurological and mental health issues.
Please give us some background. How did you get saddled with her 18 years ago? Do you have siblings? Who is in the family that she calls to tell them you are abusive?
Please start your own thread. The wonderful, caring people on here can help you formulate a plan to take back your life. We will provide support for you every step of the way.
This miserable life you have does NOT have to continue. There is a way out.
How about it?
She abandoned us as children and has only thought of herself her entire life. Don't make the mistake of trying to mend a lifetime relationship flaw. Send them to a nursing home and don't guilt yourself.
.I tried everything to get him into alternative housing and support near me, but he 'bolted', essentially went off to die, like an Eskimo on an ice floe because he couldn't live with me or my brother.
He died today and I'm so sad, mostly for the loss of potential; for what could have been had he been willing to work with me.
My mother, on the other hand has made lots of friends in her senior's apt bldg, takes advantage of volunteer drivers, etc and so has created a safety network for herself.
I too now am working hard to make sure 20 yrs down the line I have a good safety network for myself.
I don't regret not taking my father in- I would not have survived it, but am sad the only 2 choices in his mind were to live with us or go off to die alone.
Is someone her POA? Healthcare POA? Executor of her will?
Her income is like a health care professional? Does she have a sizeable estate or trust? Do you know the terms of that? Wouldn't it be awful to have been ponying up for her care for all these years, and then she turns around and shafts you in her will?
If only, if only. Yet I'm close to positive that I would have been roped into this one way or another, sooner or later, just because there were no other really viable options. And because I'm the sort of person who just can't leave bad enough alone.
My mother's plan for her old age was to simply end her life, if she were unable to care for herself and nobody else showed up to do it. She even has/had a stash of pills at the ready. In retrospect I think that would have been a better solution than this. But at the time, when decisions were being made, that alternative was just unthinkable. You can't just let your own mother off herself because nobody is willing to take care of her. But all these years later, I think that would have been a better solution than to have her take over another person's life for so many years, a person who had their own plans and dreams and other things to do with what remained of their life. So shoot me. I really do.
Okay. PLEASE give up!
You moved her there so she would be safe and not isolated, not to take the place of your deceased father. Excuse me, but if she can dress herself, bathe herself and drive a car, sounds like she can cook for herself and find her way around town.
You just got rid of the overburden of one elderly parent. Did you not learn anything from that a experience?
A lot of elderly people expect their older adult children to live out their fantasies of “being mother and daughter” again. You are not a teenager. She is a retiree and you are not. She is a widow and you are not. It is not “cute”. She needs to find community with others who are in the same phase of life as she is. There is the YMCA, senior center, group trips, religious worship, excercise groups, arts groups, volunteer groups, dance groups, etc. for seniors in every community. It is ridiculous for her to expect you to be her constant companion. Don’t jeopardize your marriage or your sanity trying to fulfill her every fantasy. She’ll be fine and you will sacrifice your own welfare in the process. You are not required to do that just because she gave birth to you.
Take a big step back. You are doing plenty enough for her by seeing to it that she is not isolated 1,000 miles away. And she has her own home? I could only wish for such luxury at that point in my life. You do not have to be her constant playmate in addition to all that. Let it go.
Let me ask you - when you re-read your own post would you advise another person to do what you are doing? I don’t think you would! And leave your husband to move in with your mother?
Take a reality check. You are a little caught up. You don’t have to do all those things. Please don’t!
Wow, similar things here, except, I am a year older but still working full-time with lots of overtime hours, and my almost 93-yr old mom is living with me although "not permanently" since last July. She always has been anti-social and should not be driving because of vision and occasional positional dizziness, but still has her car and house in her hometown 3 hours away. I thought it would be a good idea for her to be here, because all she did in her house was play games on the computer all day and watch TV. So I figured she could easily do those things here. I am the only "child" left and my kids also thought it is a good idea. She has no support system in her hometown, nothing, couldn't go anywhere on her own. And I was the one who always called daily, sometimes multiple times in a day to chat/talk and check on her.
But since she has been here, I see she really should not be on her own, and she continually thinks I should live in her house with her. She won't let go of her house or her car, and I've told her that if she goes back to her house, she will have to have a caregiver. Because I no longer want to drive back and forth for her doctor's appointments, etc. But I am her "only" child and she thinks of me as her playmate and sees nothing wrong with she and I being companions/playmates all of my non-working hours. She won't even eat dinner unless I am right there with her. I have been single for 20 years now and have my own routine which is not like it was when I had a family, sitting down together for meals. I have 4 days vacation later this month when I am flying out of town to see a friend and my daughter will check on Mom and her 2 dogs while I am gone. I wish it were for 34 days!!!
I think she secretly hopes I won't be able to pay my house off and have to move in with her.... but the reality is.... I don't care if I lost my job, couldn't afford my house, I would live somewhere, BUT NOT in my mother's house with my mother.
I just found this forum last night and have been awake almost all night reading all of the 18 pages of comments. This forum has been a Godsend to me at this point in my life and I thank every one for all the validation. There is much more I would like to share about the difficulties I am currently experiencing with my own Mom but for this first time, let me suffice to say that what you have just posted about your 90-yr Grandmother is exactly the kind of person I plan and hope to be as I age. Thank you so much for sharing part of your and your Grandmother's story.
She resided in the same apartment for about 35 years (until she passed away.) While she was able to she went to church, played cards, visited the senior center, visited family. She was not a demanding woman. My mother set her up with meals on wheels when she was about 90 (she lived until 95) so she would not have to worry about food shopping and meal preparation. That was a Godsend. Every day someone would knock on her door, deliver her a hot meal and be able to “check” that she was okay. She kept a regular schedule. She also hired someone to help her every few weeks to do heavy cleaning in her apartment towards the end of her life. This woman was basically blessed with good health, but she also had common sense. She visited when she was invited and was not demanding about people “serving” her. What I did for her I always did out of love and respect. She bathed and dressed neatly. She lived very simply toward the end of her life.
I am single and never rich. She lived about 45 minutes away from me. She had many grandchildren and nieces and nephews. I spoke to her on the phone once a week (at length) and visited with her once a month. On those occasions I helped her with little things around her apartment, shopping chores and we usually ate together - Chinese food or some other take out. Nothing fussy.
In the last 2 years of her life she was hospitalized briefly. The hospital was not too far away and I visited her there every day. This was not too easy on me, but I knew she would not live forever and I did not want to leave her in that place alone. By then my other siblings and her children had all moved far away, so could not make the “instant” trip to the hospital. They did, however, visit her at home from time to time.
She lived a full life, travelled around the world, had a good career and marriage (my grandfather predeceased her by 20 years) and was grateful for all her blessings. She also had a spare room in her apartment so many family members from out of town could stay there if they wanted to. To me, she set a perfect example of aging gracefully. Instead of moving all over the place and trying to get everyone to accommodate her wishes, she recognized the fact that her family members had responsibilities and lives of their own. She had many visitors later in life, but was content with her own company rather than insisting that people drop everything to amuse her every day. She was one of my best friends and not a burden to me at all. She lived in a natural way. I cannot understand people running away in their old age, or expecting everyone to wait on them hand and foot.
As I said, I live alone and am not rich. I don’t expect anyone to drop everything to amuse me or take care of me. And no one does. It is unrealistic to expect another person to sacrifice their own personal welfare and well being to satisfy your own wishes. If I really need help, I ask. Otherwise I try to rely on myself. And, conversely, if I am able to give help, I do so as I am able, without destroying my own personal wellbeing. This is the natural way to do things.
It seems some people have lost sight of basic human values and realities.
I do believe that those who live a good life and care for those around them have loving care in the end of their life. With people living so long, it is unrealistic to expect the younger generation to travel, interrupt their careers and family life to take care of older relatives. There are many activities seniors can get themselves involved with and truly if they are loving and considerate family members, someone will be there to help them in the end.
WHEN I RETIRE IM GOING TO DRIVE 30 IN THE LEFT LANE WITH MY RIGHT BLINKER ON
For us, the grown child, traveling today isn't as easy as it use to be. I use to love to fly, but now one has to get to the airport 2 hours earlier even if the flight itself is only 45 minutes. I would be exhausted before I even buckled the seat-belt on the airplane. Forget driving, I am the elderly person who is driving 20 miles in the left land because I need to make a turn later down the road :P
I live in NYC and have been here 40 years. I was raised in this area. Before moving, my mother had a 2BR coop apartment nearby and she sold it when she moved to Florida. I told her that I would not be able to go to Florida where she lives in an efficiency apartment in a senior residence. I am barely making a living and cannot afford the money for travel and accommodations. I can’t actually afford to take the time to go there as I am just keeping things together here myself.
I begged my mother not to leave. Begged her! I found her a senior living residence right around the corner from me. She would not move there. She wanted to go to Florida. Down there we have no family. She has made many nice friends and has been on 2 cruises, one to Europe, since she has been there.
I am happy that she is content with her life there but I get constant pressure to go down there to see her from her and my more affluent relatives.
So - they can go see her. I miss her but I am not going to derail my own life so she can live out her dream of family unity 1,000 miles away from from her entire family. It is unrealistic.
I agree with the other posters. If you expect your children to help you in any way when you get older, make it easier for them by staying close by. Otherwise - you may be on your own.
You are being a burden if:
you hide all of your important documents because you don't want someone to 'know your business'.
you hide any significant medical condition because you don't want some to 'worry' about you.
you decide to not appoint someone in your family a POA
you decide to not have a will or trust in case you die.
All of these things make you a burden.
I'd ask you to answer to yourself--in your heart of hearts--why are you doing this for them at such an extreme expense, on so many levels, to yourself? Why? (It's not for us on the Internet to know your answer unless you choose, but at least mull it over and answer yourself honestly.)